I am due to attend a CPAG (Child Poverty Action Group) AGM later this month. I have been in contact with 3 other women who have experience of Child Services taking their children, living in my area. They often call to discuss their experiences and to seek reassurance and emotional support . 2 of the women still have children in foster care and have supervised access. Their access visits have been recently reduced to half a day 4 times a year, and their children are being discouraged form wanting to visit, especially as they reach their teens. All of the women sought supervised visits because they were afraid of being accused of something if left unsupervised with their children.
My son who was first taken into care in 1982 and then into permanent foster care in 1987 emailed me after a long absence (10 years) in Australia, after being released from care, from a local back-packers hotel. After telling us (myself and his brother) lots of tall stories he returned to Australia. The visit, whilst welcome was stressful at times. He was on prescribed drugs, had a rampant tobacco habit, and was unable to access any funds of his own for the entire visit so we were unable to do much and had to access a local food bank to make ends meet. We were disappointed at the outcome but were unable to go any further with him.
When I went to ask for help the volunteer who helped me also told me that she had been a foster parent but had found the work too stressful and expressed her misgivings (understatement) at the unfair and dishonest way first parents were treated by the Child Protection workers.
After some discussion with one of the other above-mentioned first parents I returned this week and invited the food bank volunteer to the CPAG AGM. I sent an email to the CPAG staff- who I am familiar with a response to their report telling them of my concerns about recent welfare reforms that our government is proposing. These reforms are centered around creating supplementary welfare grants to support low income working parents, whilst reducing financial support to non-working households with children. These payments are only available to parents who are able to obtain a given number of hours of paid work per week. CPAG's concerns are that the eligibility rules around these supplements disadvantage children whose parent(s) working irregular hours and cannot obtain sufficient work hours to be eligible for their full income, and their well being is heavily dependent on circumstances beyond their control.(eg those whose working hours have been reduced due to the impact of the Christchurch earthquake). For more information the CPAG website link:- www.cpag.org.nz CPAG also has a branch in the UK. I do not know if there is one in Canada or the US.
After my discussion with the lady at the food bank, who said that she had quit working for child services and taken up study in psychology, focusing on the abusive issues within the adoption industry. I considered the issues she raised against the possibility that current welfare reform policymakers may be "softening up" the child rearing environment to facilitate the management of families with children who are unable to survive economically in the manner outlined in the "adoption option" policies. Child abuse cases are receiving an increasingly high profile in the news, especially extreme cases. Many people outside the situation now assume first parents are "child abusers", and that most low income parents, particularly those outside the workforce, are child abusers who have not been caught yet, and encourages suspicion and disrespect towards impoverished families especially those experiencing financial stress.
I am seeing the results of young adults released from foster homes, almost all of whom come out emotionally and economically unprepared for life without parental support. Too many of the young women fall pregnant to uncaring partners unable to distinguish between a sexual relationship and a genuine one, and all of them I have met have drug,and alcohol problems. Many of them seek out their first parents but on their return but are abusive and resentful towards them, unable to manage their emotions, keep employment or study commitments, or manage their lives. The description has similarities to the issues described on the site below.
With regards to the link heading below
NATIONAL COALITION FOR CHILD PROTECTION REFORM,
Working to help America's vulnerable children by changing public policy concerning child abuse, foster care, and family preservation
Has anyone had experience of this activist group? I can bring up the Home page, but none of the links load.
Last year after a couple of disturbing incidents that had "similarities" to attempted official child "snatchings" a couple of us parents attempted to set up a site to open these issues to discussion locally and experienced what we can only describe as being "shut down" online in less than a week. I direct people to this site instead now if they want information/support.
After I had emailed CPAG's website opening these issues for discussion I found this online. :- (see the link and title underlined below; . Please let me know if it is inaccessible and I will post my copy of the paper)
Synopsis of child welfare fraud
~author unknown~ (Maybe Nev Moore?) http://www.familyrightsassociation.com/bin/synopsis_of_child_welfare_fra...
Sorry It's not active but try and paste it into the search box to bring it up. Would love to hear what people have to say about this.
Finally would like to draw attention to this:- http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/wishart-denies-using-inquest-boost-book-...
News of the book coincided with the inquest into the deaths of twins Chris and Cru Kahui, who died in 2006 aged three months from non-accidental head injuries.
A lengthy trial in 2008 found the twins' father Chris Kahui not guilty of the murders. Chris has always blamed King, the twins' mother, for the deaths.